FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
December 23, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Advent
WORD of the DAY
During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb”. (Luke 1: 39-42)
How shall I live this Word?
At the end of Advent we find Mary who shows us how the incarnation opens the heart, mind, hands, and does not close them. With Jesus in our heart we become people on a journey, in constant ‘outreach’, solicitous and delicate. We carry within us the very life of Jesus. It is seen and felt! Mary who carries the Word become Flesh in her womb has no need to say many words. She greets and at that greeting, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and John leaps for joy.
Both rejoice, praising and blessing God for the marvels He accomplished in Her who believed, who abandoned Herself to Him and trusted His mercy.
Lord Jesus, help us to be like Your Mother, living Tabernacles!
The Voice of Pope Francis, General Audience October 23, 2013
In what way is Mary a living example of love for the Church? We think of her availability to her relative Elizabeth. Visiting her, the Virgin Mary did not bring her only material help, this too, but she brought Jesus, who already lived in her womb. Bringing Jesus into that house meant bringing joy, full joy. Elisabeth and Zachariah were happy for the pregnancy that seemed impossible at their age, but it is the young Mary who brings them full joy, the one that comes from Jesus and the Holy Spirit and expresses itself in gratuitous charity, in sharing, in helping each other, in understanding each other. Our Lady wants to bring us, all of us, the great gift that is Jesus; and with Him she brings us His love, His peace, His joy. Thus the Church is like Mary: The Church is not a shop, it is not a humanitarian agency, the Church is not an NGO, the Church is sent to bring Christ and his Gospel to everyone; she does not bring herself – if she is small, if she is big, if strong, if weak, the Church brings Jesus and must be like Mary when she went to visit Elizabeth. What did Mary bring? Jesus. The Church brings Jesus: this is the center of the Church, to bring Jesus! If by hypothesis it happens that the Church does not carry Jesus, that would be a dead Church! The Church must bring the love of Jesus, the love of Jesus, the love of Jesus…
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
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Comment by Sr. Monica Gianoli, FMA